Ancient Buddhist Art in Dazu County



Our cruise of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River departed from Chongqing, on Wednesday morning though we were welcome to board Tuesday evening. (Which we did — why pay for a hotel room when you can sleep on a cool ship with a different view of the city?!) Since we arrived in Chongqing Monday morning and had the afternoon to the see the city (a few shots below), we had the full day Tuesday to see what else the region had to offer. I determined by far the most interesting thing for Steve would be the ancient Buddhist caves in Dazu County, an area about 2 or 3 hours outside Chongqing city by bus. So off we set with a Chinese-language tour group I’d arranged through our hotel desk.

These and the shots that follow show you some of the highlights of what we saw. It’s truly remarkable. Though I’ve not yet been to the most-renowned caves at Datong and Dunhuang, one guide said these are almost at that level of historical and artistic importance. I guess I’ll see when I finally make it to them, but Steve and I were both quite inspired and awestruck by the beauty and grace of the art here. Since the giant reclining Buddha is one of the highlights — of many highlights, really — of the area we looked at, I’m leading off with some shots of him. Steve: by the way, I read in another history book over the weekend that the two destroyed at Bamiyan were something like 55 and 30-something meters high. So perhaps you could check your source that said they were well over 100 meters high? If indeed they were 55 and 30-something, then I think this guy, as well as the Boddhisatvas, must be getting into that range, don’t you? In any case, I hope you all enjoy these views!

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